“Blue the Dog, stay.”

The girl was trying to vomit again, retching, and Blue the Dog was worried, whining with that little huffing noise, his nostrils flaring, his big tail smacking against the leg of the table. The girl had been puking on and off for about an hour, and now, worse, she lay suffering on my porch sofa. I held a cup of spring water to her lips so she could sip, but she wasn’t keeping down even a dribble—her body was being hateful, and making not to stop. She couldn’t calm her singleness: the toxins must be deep in her cells.

alan_michael_parker_2013What the hell is this?

A novel.

 

But it’s got 99 stories and some of them have the same titles?

That’s true.

9781938103803Report from the Committee on Town Happiness

We have been thinking about the trees. The trees, we have decided, know what they’re doing. We have decided (6–3, with one abstention) that there will be trees in the Afterlife.

Our thinking about trees has led us to fence Maxwin’s Park and to prohibit all pedestrian traffic therein. As an elected policy-making body, we believe that the trees need a place of repose. As we all do.

Avi Heyer, the protagonist of Alan Michael Parker’s second novel, Whale Man, is no Captain Ahab, but he’s still obsessed with a whale. It’s just that Avi’s whale is one that he longs to build on his mother’s front lawn out of plywood, two-by-fours, and canvas. And it isn’t overweening pride that causes him to chase his whale—it’s a dream. That and money. And a girl named Lima Bean.